Speaking at a Statehouse news conference, Nader said Congress could have pushed for reforms but instead caved into Wall Street.
"Washington had Wall Street over the barrel two weeks ago and they could have gotten all these reforms because Wall Street wanted $700 billion," Nader said. "Instead, Wall Street stuffed Washington into a barrel and rolled them, so we have to wait until next year."
Nader spoke in Des Moines before holding a rally later in the day at Iowa State University in Ames.
that's the opening of mike glover's 'Nader: Government missed chance with bailout' (ap). ralph is on the road fighting the blockade against him the press has created. some might argue the democratic party created it and i wouldn't try to split hairs except to note that the press does what it wants.
in november, every vote for nader - gonzalez is a vote against undemocratic actions and a closed press. remember that.
and remember you can vote for ralph if you live in any state except oklahoma. he's on the ballot in 45 states (and d.c.) and the other 4 allow you to write him in. this is his biggest run ever so let's make sure we make our voices heard. if enough people have guts, he could end up in the white house.
gillian e-mailed a highlight. john leo 'the power of one' (city lights) traces how bad reporting leads to lies and this is too difficult to cut so if you get lost, use the link:
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post often writes with a good deal of attitude, and his Tuesday column was no exception. In his report on Sarah Palin’s campaign speech in Clearwater, Florida, laced with mocking Palinisms (“darn right,” “betcha”), he wrote that “the self-identified pit bull has been unleashed, if not unhinged.” The “unhinging,” in Milbank’s assessment, came when Palin charged that Obama still has some explaining to do about his relationship with 1960s Weatherman bomber William Ayers.
Milbank also wrote that Palin blamed Katie Couric for her “less-than-successful” CBS interview. Other newspapers reported a more light-hearted Palin response to the dismal interview. The Tampa Tribune, for example, reported that she said: “I shoulda told them I was just trying to keep Tina Fey in business.”
But Milbank’s report triggered Democratic rage across the Internet with his charge that “Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness.” Some in the Clearwater crowd, he wrote, shouted abuse at reporters. Someone yelled “Kill him,” apparently a reference to Ayers; and one person shouted an epithet at a network sound man (apparently the N-word, though Milbank didn’t say) and told him, “Sit down, boy.”
Milbank’s lone racist at the rally soon became a group (or a mob) of people shouting racial epithets. A New York Times editorial Tuesday (“The Politics of Attack”) misquoted Milbank’s Post column, claiming that one person shouted “Kill him” and “others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.” Many blogs followed suit: “Crowd at Palin Rally Hurled Racial Epithets at African American on News Crew,” read the headline at Pensito Review. This was too much for Bob Somerby, the left-leaning blogger at the Daily Howler. Calling Milbank “a highly unreliable chronicler,” Somerby taunted the Times for multiplying racists at the rally: “It’s the power of pluralization!...One example becomes much more powerful when we stick an ‘s’ on the end. In this case, one epithet-shouter turns into a group. How many people were shouting those epithets? The editors let you imagine.”gillian lives in delaware and will be voting for nader (and this is the 1st election she can vote in so she's really excited to have a strong candidate to support). but she wrote that she wanted that highlighted for 2 reasons.
1st, she wanted to be sure 'the people in oklahoma know i support their decision to endorse john mccain and sarah palin. if i was in their position, i might be voting mccain. i know they must feel like some will judge them harsh for that but i don't and can speak only for me. barack is a liar who lies about ending the iraq war and no 1 who wants the war over should reward a liar. add in his use of homophobia and sexism and barack doesn't deserve a vote.'
i agree with gillian and will note that here. i'm sorry, i didn't realize i hadn't written about the oklahoma endorsement until gillian pointed it out in her e-mail.
always remember that these posts are written by a woman with a 1-year-old meaning i start and stop a lot. i'm sitting on the couch with the laptop, planning what to say and starting to type and, boom, have to stop. that's not an insult of flyboy who is a wonderful father but there are so many times when the baby just wants me and will fuss and fuss until she gets me. that's fine. i've waited all my life to have a baby so i'm not complaining.
but in the stop and start over and over, i sometimes think i have covered something i meant to only to find out that i didn't.
long before june 5th when barack admitted on cnn that he wasn't really promising anything and any campaign promise would be set aside if he got into the white house, i knew barack wasn't about ending the illegal war. you don't have so many advisors who support counter-insurgency (the opposite of peace) if you're planning to end the illegal war.
i agree with the decision of oklahoma community members. there will be no honeymoon for mccain. the peace movement will not continue to cower in silence. neither barack or mccain will end the iraq war, the people would have to under either of them.
i'm doing my pat to end it by supporting a candidate who will end it. but if i were in oklahoma and had to choose between the 2, i would vote mccain.
look at gillian's highlight and think about how you've heard that lie over and over all week and it never happened. (afp reported yesterday that the secret service concluded their investigation after finding no evidence of such a shout.)
the press is in the tank for barack, a good portion of the left and 'left' are as well. that's why he can't get real coverage from our allegedly 'independent' media.
you think if he gets elected, they'll finally find a way to call him out?
they had a chance to support ralph (or cynthia mckinney) who agrees with them and will end the illegal war. but positions and issues suddenly didn't matter because they wanted to hop on board the hopey-changey train.
barack has spat on the left and a number of them have stood there with their mouths open and swallowed his spit after.
in his 1st townhall in 2005, he told people the illegal war had to wait. he'd just been elected as the 'anti-war' senator and was already selling out. he'll do the same as president. which is why i wouldn't vote for him under circumstance and, if i lived in oklahoma, be announcing i was voting for john mccain.
i think the decision by the oklahoma community members also proves a point the nader campaign has raised: he's not pulling votes from barack, he's pulling them from mccain.
ralph's the real deal. he's not afraid to defend palestinians. he's not standing on stage asking them to take the flag down and put up the flag of israel so he can offer a pledge to that. ('no 1 has been a better friend to israel than joe biden,' bragged biden in his debate with sarah palin.) he's not afraid to call out wall st.
he's for unionizing and, pay attention to this 1, the union 'leaders' are endorsing barack.
it's a real shame so many are afraid to vote for what they believe in. but we don't have to sell out. when there's a candidate who really would bring change, i think it's our duty to support him or her.
in the case of oklahoma, they had no such choice. i think they made a strong statement and i think they made a great 1. i applaud them.
thank you to gillian for pointing out that i hadn't written about their decision. it was an oversight and not intended.
this is the latest from team nader:
In the Public Interest: The Derivatives Casino
Posted by Ralph Nader on Friday, October 10, 2008 at 04:36:00 PM
ShareThis In the Public Interestby Ralph Nader
The derivatives markets of today have become a high stakes casino of unimaginable magnitude. Wall Street's bets have gone bad, and now the whole financial system is in peril. In a best-case scenario, it appears, the taxpayers will be required to rescue the system from itself. This is why Warren Buffet labeled derivatives "weapons of financial mass destruction."Amazingly, there seems to be some lingering sense that current-day derivatives properly perform an insurance function.
Case in point: Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman.
Greenspan says the world is facing the type of wrenching financial crisis that comes along only once in acentury, but, reports the New York Times, "his faith in derivatives remains unshaken." Greenspan believes that the problem is not with derivatives, but that the people using them got greedy, according to the Times.
This is quite a view. Is it a surprise to Alan Greenspan thatthe people on Wall Street--said to be ruled only by the opposing instincts of greed and fear--"got greedy?"
This might be taken as just a bizarre comment, except that, of course, Alan Greenspan had some considerable influence in driving us to the current financial meltdown through his opposition to regulation of derivatives.
A series of deregulatory moves, blessed by Alan Greenspan, helped immunize Wall Street derivatives traders from proper oversight.
In 1995, Congress enacted the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) of 1995, which imposed onerous restrictionson plaintiffs suing wrongdoers in the stock market. The law was enacted in the wake of Orange County, California's government bankruptcy caused by abuses in derivatives trading. An amendment offered by Rep. Ed Markey would have exempted derivatives trading abuse lawsuits from the PSLRA restrictions. In defeatingthe amendment, then-Representative and now-SEC Chairman Chris Cox quoted Alan Greenspan, saying “it would be a grave error to demonize derivatives;” and, “It would be a serious mistake to respond to these developments [in OrangeCounty, California] by singling out derivative instruments for special regulatory treatment.”
The New York Times reports how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission aimed for some modest regulatory authority over derivatives in the late 1990s. Strident opposition from Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan spelled doom for that effort.
Senator Phil Gramm helped drive the process along with theCommodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated the derivatives market.
Defenders of deregulation argued that sophisticated players were involved in the derivatives markets, and they could handle themselves.
It's now apparent that not only could these sophisticated players not handle themselves, but that their reckless gambling has placed the entire world's financial system at risk.
It seems to be then a remarkably modest proposal for derivatives to be brought under regulatory control.
Warren Buffet cut to the heart of the problem in 2003: "Another problem about derivatives is that they can exacerbate trouble that a corporation has run into for completely unrelatedreasons," he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders. "This pile-on effect occurs because many derivatives contracts require that a company suffering a credit downgrade immediately supply collateral to counterparties. Imagine, then, that a company is downgraded because of general adversity and that its derivatives instantly kick in with their requirement, imposing an unexpected and enormous demand for cash collateral on the company. The need to meet this demand can then throw the company into a liquidity crisis that may, in some cases, trigger still more downgrades. It all becomes a spiral that can lead to a corporate meltdown."
That is to say, our current problems were foreseeable, and foreseen. There is no excuse for those who suggest that present circumstances--what many are calling a once-in-a-hundred-years event--were unimaginable during earlier debates about regulation.
Some ideologues continue to defend derivatives from very strict government control. As Congress moves to adopt new financial regulations next year, hopefully the proponents of casino capitalism will be given no more credence than those insisting that the sun revolves around the earth.
go read elaine's 'The Common Ills' and let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Friday, October 10, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, another journalist is killed, yesterday's assassination causes more suspicions of the US, Iraqi Christians are targeted says an Archbishop, and more.
Yesterday at the White House, spokesperson Dana Perino was asked about Iraqi Christians "losing representation in Iraq's Muslim-dominated legislature" and Perino responded that "I think that that was resolved and the Christians' rights were restored." (Full answer: "I'll check, but I think you should double check, because I think that that was resolved and the Christians' rights were restored.") No, they were not. Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) reported, "a separate bill" will be sent "to parliament to restore" Article 50. The bill may or not pass. But the provincial elections bill, which passed by Parliament, passed the presidency council and was signed into law by Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, eliminated Article 50 which guaranteed representation to religious minorities. Yesterday, Kim Gamel (AP) reported that in Mosul so far this month, 7 corpses of Iraqi Christians have been discovered, notes that a person's religion is listed on the state i.d., that there are approximately 800,000 Iraqi Christians still in the country, and quotes Chaldean Archibishop Louis Sako stating, "We are worried about the campaign of killings and deportations against the Christian citizens in Mosul." The Kurdish Globe reported yesterday that the Yazidis and the Christians continue protesting over the elimination of Article 50 and quotes Jamil Zeito ("head of the Seriaques-Chaldeans Public Council") stating, "We will demonstrate and protest until we achieve autonomous rights for Christians in our districts as well as fair representation for religious minorities, including Christians, in the provincial elections. The protests and demonstrations will not stop till we accomplish our fair rights; ignoring the rights of minorities indicates incomplete democracy in Iraq." And, as AINA reports, the issue has led to protests elsewhere as well such as the Iraqi embassy in Sweden where protestors gathered and Isak Monir ("spokesman for the Chaldean Federation in Sweden") explained, "Since the decision to exclude minorities representatives was taken by the Iraqi parliament the violence against Christians has increased remarkably. The groups who want Iraq cleaned from other ethnic and religious groups maybe felt that they are backed up by the parliament and consequently have begun to kill Christians again. They want a homogeneous Iraq -- cleaned from other ethnic and religious groups." Ethan Cole (Christian Post) notes the 3 Iraqi Christians killed on Tuesday in Mosul and he explains of Mosul "the city is a historic center for Assyrian Christians, who view it as their ancestral homeland. It is home to the second-largest community of Christians in Iraq, after Baghdad." Asia News (via Catholic Today) identifies the dead:
More Christian blood in Mosul. On October 7, a father and son were killed in the neighborhood of Sukkar while they were working. Amjad Hadi Petros and his son were killed because "they were guilty of being Christian" in a place where a "systematic persecution" is being seen. In a second attack, recorded in another of the city's neighborhoods, a fundamentalist group broke into a pharmacy and killed an assistant, also of the Christian religion.
We also recounted the execution, on Monday, October 6, of Ziad Kamal, a 25-year-old disabled shop owner in the city. The young man owned a store in the neighborhood of Karama: he was taken by an armed group from inside his store and brought to a nearby spot, where he was shot to death. Also, on Saturday, October 4, two more men were barbarously assassinated in two other areas of Mosul: Hazim Thomaso Youssif, 40, was killed in front of the clothing store he owned, while 15-year-old Ivan Nuwya was shot to death in the neighborhood of Tahrir, outside of his house in front of the local mosque of Alzhara.
Vatican Radio offers a report:
Vatican Radio: Concern is growing once again over violence against Christians in nothern Iraq where, in the last week alone, seven of them have been killed in the city of Mosul. Attacks have tapered off amid a drastic decline in overall violence nationwide but these latest killings have sparked renewed fears. The Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, Luis Sako, has condemned the violence.
Archbishop Sako: In Mosul the situation is terrible especially for the Christians and many families left the city, children cannot go to the school and also people cannot go to work they are staying in their houses. Just a real tragedy for them. I made an appeal to the Mosul population because I am from Mosul -- I lived years in Mosul, in a parish -- and I had many, many relationships with Muslims most of them so I made a call and an appeal. This appeal has been delivered in all the local medias. This could be helpful to encourage Muslim moderates to react and to do something.
The United Nations and Peoples Organization notes the Wednesday meeting of the European Parliament of the EPP-ED in Brussles which addressed "Christian Communities in the Muslim World: Iraq". Archbishop of Mosul Basile Georges Casmoussa called the crisis "heartbreaking" and stated Iraq Christians make up 40% of the refugee population despite being only 4% of Iraq's population. He also noted that that "aid was not reaching Christians in Iraq". The report also notes: "Kirkuk was identified as a crucial issue by Ms. Naglaa Elhag, of the IKV Pax Christi organization, in her presentation on 'The Situation of Refugees in Iraq' -- the topic of the final panel. Until this was addressed and Europe adopted a cohesive policy there were few positive signs to be seen in the region Ms. Elhag concluded. Even outside Iraq, Christians continued to find themselves excluded from basic social services and had to face ongoing intimidation and violence. There was also a pressing need to hold the Iraqi government accountable for its failure to adequately protect the Iraqi Christian minority." Marwan Ibrahim (AFP) reports Archbishop Louis Sako declared today, "We are the target of a campaign of liquidation, a campaign of violence. The objective is political. . . . We have heard many words from Prime Minister Maliki, but unfortunately this has not translated into reality. We continue to be targeted. We want solutions, not promises." So, to toss back to Dana Perino, no, "that" was not "resolved."
Dana Priest (Washington Post) was online at her paper yesterday afternoon for a discussion with readers and the topic of the National Intelligence Estimate  was raised. Priest: "The jist of the NIE has been known for a while, since all the reporting that the Washington Post and other major news organizations have been doing over the past year says, basically, the same thing. In this sense, the NIE does not offer a big revelation; it just brings the series of daily intel/military analysis on Afghanistan to a higher level with more visibility. Unlike the days before the Iraq war, many people have access to what's happening in afghanistan and are willing to share it with reporters, in part because they are frustrated it's not getting more attention and they believe it should if, as we have said since 9-11, defeating terrorism is a priority." Wednesday Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and Nancy A. Youssef (McClatchy Newspapers) reported on the upcoming National Intelligence Estimate (which may or may not be released prior to the US elections in November), "The draft NIE, however, warns that the improvements in security and political progress, like the recent passage of a provincial election law, are threatened by lingering disputes between the majority Shiite Arabs, Sunni Arabs, Kurds and other minorities, the U.S. officials said. Sources of tension identified by the NIE, they said, include a struggle between Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen for control of the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk; and the Shiite-led central government's unfulfilled vows to hire former Sunni insurgents who joined Awakening groups." At the White House yesterday Dana Perino noted that US Secretary of State Condi Rice has not read the report. Not a slam at Condi, just noting that the report is under wraps. Rice noted she hadn't read it in brief remarks to the press before meeting with Maris Reikstins (Lativian Foreign Affairs Minister) in DC, "Well, in fact, I have actually not seen the NIE. I will -- I assume that we'll be briefed on it shortly. But in any case, we had asked for the intelligence community to take a look. It's important that it do so." The issue of the NIE was raised at Thursday's State Dept press briefing conducted by Sean McCormack who noted, "She [Rice] has not yet seen it, and I don't believe any of the policy makers in the State Department have seen any drafts of this assessment. I would expect at some point that they will be briefed on it."
As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Iraqi MP Saleh al-Auaeili was assassinated yesterday. al-Auqaeili had been one of the 30 member Sadr bloc in Parliament. Tensions are high over the assassination and Jeffrey Fleishman (Los Angeles Times) reports overnight fighting in the Sadr City section of Baghdad between, on one side, Sadr supporters and, on the other, Iraqi and US forces. Fleishman also notes that Ahmed Massoudi ("a Sadr spokesman") states, "The occupation sent us a message by staging this attack [the assassination] because of our stance against the agreement." Sam Dagher (New York Times) quotes Sheik Salah al-Obeidi (Moqtada al-"Sadr's chief spokesman") stating, "By killing Ugaili they are silencing a major opponent of the agreement" -- which would be the treaty the White House and the puppet of the occupation want to pretend is a SOFA. Sheik al-Obeidi ties the assassination in with other pressure to push on the treaty including US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte's visit to Iraq this week and he also notes that a demonstration will take place October 18th in Baghdad "against the American presence in Iraq." Ernesto London (Washington Post) quoted MP Ahmad al-Massoudi stating, "We have laid the blame on the occupation forces and the Iraqi government for the martyrdom of [the lawmaker] because the explosion happened in an area that is under the control of" the US military (the Green Zone). Marwa Sabah (AFP) reports that the "[m]ourners shouted anti-American slogans . . . as relatives hugged each other and wept while the wooden coffin of Ogayly was brought out of his home early on Friday draped in the tri-colour Iraqi flag." Khaled Farhan (Reuters) notes a statement released by Moqtada al-Sadr: "The martyr gave most of his time to eject the occupiers. . . . And for this reason the hand of the hateful occupation and terrorism killed him." Leila Fadel (McClatchy Newspapers) explains that observers (US and Iraqi) are noting a shift from acts of violence targeting mass numbers of people to assassination attempts "using magnetic bombs, weapons with silencers and bicycle bombs. As provinicial elections approach, some officials worry that assassinations will increase as political parties try to eradicate their competitors." Leila Fadel (McClatchy) quotes the statement by al-Sadr reading, "Here is another star that brightens in the sky of martyrs, of Sadr followers and the sons of Iraq. Another martyr waters the land of Iraq with his blood, a martyr that sacrifices himself for the sake of Iraq and the people of Iraq, a martyr that gave all of his time to expel the occupier and not to sign agreements with him."
Tensions in Baghdad also include the ongoing conflict between northern Iraq and Turkey. Hurriyet notes reports coming out stating that Turkey will be "direct talks with the regional administration in the northern Iraq in its fight against the terror organization, PKK". CNN notes that Turkey bombed northern Iraq again today. Reuters provides the catch-up for the latest tensions, "Turkey's parliament on Wednesday approved a government request to extend for another year a mandate to launch military operations against PKK rebels based in northern Iraq from where they are suspected of crossing into Turkey to attack soldiers. Turkish authorities are under mounting pressure after a series of deadly attacks on Turkish security forces and police, which has left more than 20 dead in recent days." Meanwhile the Turkish Daily News offers this observation, "It looks like the [Turkish] government will not bow to pressure from the opposition which calls for a ground incursion to Iraq as well as setting up a security zone in the border." At the US State Dept today, spokesperson Sean McCormack was asked about Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan's statements regarding " a buffer zone in northern Iraq" to prevent attacks by the PKK on Turkey and McCormack replied, "We are working with the Turkish and Iraqi governments on a common problem, and that is the threat of terrorism from the PKK." An October 17th vote for a non-permantnet seat on the United Nations' Security Council will be held and that Turkey is a candidate for that seat. Asso Ahmed (Los Angeles Times) quotes PKK "senior leader" Bozan Takeen declaring in a phone interview "from his hideout in Iraqi Kurdistan," "We are ready and our forces are ready. We are not afraid of them. If they want to attack Iraq's Kurdistan, then the Middle East will turn into a fire ball."
Meanwhile Wednesday, in the Green Zone, US Maj Gen Jeffery Hammond declared:
Now, take for example, the transition or transfer of the Sons of Iraq to Government of Iraq control. Now, we have two phases to this plan. The first one is the transfer of the Sons of Iraq to the, to the Government of Iraq control, which will include the assumption and the payment of their salaries starting this month in October. We're working very closely with our Iraqi counterparts to make sure this works. The Government of Iraq has committed to accept responsibility for the Sons of Iraq and it's been mandated in the Prime Minister Order No. 118‑C, and we're going to be there to assist in the transfer. We spent the last few weeks working hand in hand with the Iraqi Security Forces, the IFCNR, our Iraqi partners and I'm confident ‑‑ I'm confident this is going to go well. But again, effective this month, the Government of Iraq will start paying the salaries for the Sons of Iraq.
Actually . . . Anwar J. Ali, Sam Dagher, Stephen Farrell, Erica Goode and Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) report on the tensions brewing among the "Awakeing"s including graffiti appearing that is "the motto of a feared paramilitary unit during Saddam Hussein's era": "Allah. Homeland. Salary" -- which "Awakening" Sgt. Alaa al-Janabi ("Dora Awakening") states is "our slogan." al-Janabi goes on to cite that the Iraqi government is not paying them enough money to live on and offer "We're not going to fight again. Unless they make us." Saleh al-Jubori ("a leader of the Awakening Council in Dora") states that "there is no trust between us and the National Police" and, "if the Awakening is let go, Dora will go back to worse than it was before. I hope you don't consider this a threat." And staying with the topic of "worse," Robert Fisk (Independent of London) reports "that secret executions are being carried out in the prisons run by Nouri al-Maliki's 'democratic' government. The hangings are carried out regularly -- from a wooden gallows in a small, cramped cell -- in Saddam Hussein's old intelligence headquarters at Kazimiyah. There is no public record of these killings in what is now called Baghdad's 'high-security detention facility' but most of the victims -- there have been hundreds since America introduced 'democracy' to Iraq -- are said to be insurgents, given the same summary justice they mete out to their own captives."
Staying with violence, Reuters notes that 28-year-old journalist Diyar Abbas was shot dead in Kirkuk today joining "at least 135 journalists [who] have been killed in the line of duty since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003." Tuesday the Committee to Protect Journalists featured Robert Mahoney's report on 27-year-old Iraqi journalist Jehad Abdulwahid Hannoon who had surived a shooting in Baghdad and, with help from the international journalism community (including CBS News' Lara Logan), was able to come to the US where he had "successful surgery in a California hospital to repair his bullet-shattered right leg." CPJ notes "135 journalists and 50 support workers" have died in Iraq. Here, we say 185 journalists. "Support workers" are doing a great deal more than that classification implies. So Diyar Abbass becomes at least the 186th journalist to die in Iraq.
In some of today's other reported violence . . .
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad roadside bombing that claimed 2 lives and left twelve wounded, a Baghdad car bombing claimed 12 lives with twenty-two more wounded, a Mosul roadside bombing that claimed 2 lives and left fourteen wounded. On the Mosul roadside bombing, China's Xinhua cites a police source who explains, "A roadside bomb detonated in the afternoon at a popular marketplace in the Bab al-Tob neighborhood".
Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 corpse discovered in Baghdad.
In legal news, mercenaries in Iraq got a setback today. Matthew Barakat (AP) reports that KBR contractor Ira L. Waltrip -- caught with child pornography -- was informed by US District Judge T.S. Ellis III that he wasn't any getting any special breaks and that the argument that Waltrip was doing the same duties soldiers do so should be punished the same way one of them would have been was bunk. The Judge informed Waltrip's attorney that, "He wasn't there because he volunteered. He was there to get some money."
Public TV notes. NOW on PBS examines the American Dream as gas prices soar and home values crumble. PBS' Washington Week finds Gwen sitting down with Washington Post's Dan Balz, National Journal's James Barnes, Wall St. Journal's David Wessel and mystery guest Karen Tumulty (Time magazine) who may or may not do her Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte impersonation. Both programs air tonight in some PBS markets, check local listings.
Turning to the US presidential race, Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. Rosa has the following upcoming campaign event this weekend in New York:
Jericho 10th Anniversary Weekend of Resistance
Saturday, October 11, 2008 @ 12 Noon
Rally at the Harlem State Office Building
(Corner of 126th St. & A.C. Powell Blvd.)
March through Harlem @ 1 p.m.
Closing Rally in Morningside Park @ 2 p.m.
Between 112th & 114th near Morningside Ave. entrances
Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Sunday he will be Fairfax, VA to speak at a press conference and rally at Geroge Mason Univeristy beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Barack Obama is the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden is his running mate. As Wally and Cedric noted yesterday, Barack seemed to offer some sort of Born Free/Elsa excuse for his friendship with Ayers whom he called "rehabilitated." Jake Tapper (ABC News) ponders rehabilitation:
And Ayers has made it clear that he is unrepentant.
''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Ayers told the New York Times in 2001. ''I feel we didn't do enough.'' Asked if he would do it all again, Ayers said ''I don't want to discount the possibility. I don't think you can understand a single thing we did without understanding the violence of the Vietnam War."
In a comic strip that Ayers recently posted on his blog, Ayers tried to explain the "we didn't do enough quote" from seven years ago, writing, "It's impossible to get to be my age and not have plenty of regrets. The one thing I don't regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being. During the Vietnam War, the Weather Underground took credit for bombing several government installations as a dramatic form of armed propaganda. Action was taken against symbolic targets in order to declare a state of emergency. But warnings were always called in, and by design no one was ever hurt.
"When I say, 'We didn't do enough,' a lot of people rush to think, 'That must mean, "We didn't bomb enough s---."' But that's not the point at all. It's not a tactical statement, it's an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, 'we' means 'everyone.' The war in Vietnam was not only illegal, it was profoundly immoral, millions of people were needlessly killed. Even though I worked hard to end the war, I feel to this day that I didn't do enough because the war dragged on for years after the majority of the American people came to oppose it. I don't think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative."
(He doesn't think violent resistance is NECESSARILY the answer?)
So today, with today's facts, does Obama think Ayers has been "rehabilitated"?
No, he doesn't think so, a source at the campaign tells me.
Mike did a press roundup on Barack's Ayers stories last night, Kat called out AP's Philip Elliott who does not seem to grasp the number of "40," Ruth contemplated the press mistakes, Rebecca noted the lack of standards and Marcia congratulates Oklahoma community members (as have Kat, as did Elaine and Mike). Oklahoma community members are supporting the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.
The McCain-Palin campaign has a new TV ad entitled "Ambition" (click here to read more about it):
ANNCR: Obama's blind ambition.
When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers.
When discovered, he lied.
Obama. Blind ambition. Bad judgment.
Congressional liberals fought for risky sub-prime loans.
Congressional liberals fought against more regulation.
Then, the housing market collapsed costing you billions.
In crisis, we need leadership, not bad judgment.
JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.
In addition, the Republican ticket notes:
Today McCain-Palin 2008 announced that Bill Bruins, a dairy farmer from Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, joined the McCain-Palin Farm & Ranch Team National Steering Committee. Bruins joins a distinguished team of elected officials and leaders in agriculture who share a common goal with John McCain: to provide the leadership necessary to create prosperity in America's rural heartland.
More details on John McCain's statement on "Prosperity for Rural America" can be found on the McCain-Palin 2008 web site at rural.JohnMcCain.com.
MCCAIN-PALIN 2008 FARM & RANCH TEAM NATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE*
And finally, Team Nader notes:
This morning, as markets around the world are crashing, Nader/Gonzalez is on the rise.
And we need your help right now.
We have a chance over the next week to run inexpensive radio ads.
In battleground states all across this country.
To expose The Bailout Boys -- Obama and McCain.
And to let the American people know that on November 4, they have a choice.
The people's candidate -- Independent Ralph Nader.
The man who stood against the bailout of Wall Street crooks.
And for regulation that would have prevented the current crisis.
Here's the problem:
We want to run the radio ads from October 21 to Election Day -- November 4.
In thirty markets all across this country.
Our radio guy tells us he needs the money by Monday to be able to reserve air time for the last two weeks before the election.
Throughout this year, when we have asked, you have delivered.
Thanks to you, we have not missed one fundraising deadline this year.
Now, we are in a corner.
Over the past week, you have donated $130,000 to our October Surprise Fund.
On our way to our goal of $250,000 by Sunday midnight.
Now, to reach our goal, we need 12,000 of you -- our loyal supporters -- to kick in $10 each.
We know that many of you have dug deep for the past seven months.
So, after you hit that contribute button, pick up the phone and get your friends, relatives, neighbors -- who are angry about the bailout and looking for an independent outlet -- to support the one candidate who has stood with the American people against the corporate criminal elite on Wall street.
To give you a sneak preview, we have cut a demo tape.
If we reach our goal by Sunday night, we will be professionally producing a version of this demo ad and getting it out to our radio guy in Los Angeles.iraq
As the Dow collapses, the Nader/Gonzalez shift the power platform is on the rise.
So, donate now -- whatever you can afford -- $10, $100, $1000 -- up to the legal limit of $2,300.
Help us fund our nationwide radio ad buy.
Inform the American public.
There is a choice on November 4.
Vote Ralph Nader for President.
Onward to November.
The Nader Team
the new york times
alissa j. rubin
anwar j. ali
the washington post
nancy a. youssef
jonathan s. landay
warren p. strobel
the los angeles times
now on pbs
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